30 Years Later: The Inside Story Of How Jacksonville Landed The Michael Jackson Victory Tour – Part 2

Sources: New4Jax – By Jennifer Waugh| Edited By – All Things Michael


Jacksonville, Fla – This year marked the 30th year anniversary of what some consider one of the greatest concerts in Jacksonville of all time.

Michael Jackson’s Victory Tour traveled to 10 cities across America from July to December 1984.

Typically Jacksonville would not have stood a chance to land one of the 10 spots, but it did. In fact, not only did the tour come to Jacksonville, the Jackson brothers performed three nights straight at the Gator Bowl, the city’s football stadium at the time.

If you are wondering how Jacksonville managed to pull it off, football was the catalyst. The mayor at the time, Jake Godbold, used to convince the king of pop to come to our city.

Jacksonville was even thinking about a Michael Jackson concert. In 1979 what the city really wanted in their stadium was for Bob Ursay, owner of the then Baltimore Colts, to bring his team to Jacksonville.

The plans were set and Ursay was on his way to Jacksonville.

Godbold had an idea to woo Ursay into bringing his team to the Florida city. The mayor surprised Ursay with a helicopter arrival to a stadium full of Jacksonvillians cheering, “We want Colts, we want Colts.”

“We’ll bring him down in a helicopter and tell everyone he’s going to be there and say we want the colts,” Godbold said. “It ended up 50,000 people showed up and 25,000 people standing outside trying to get in.”

Two weeks later, Godbold had an appointment with the president to talk about Jacksonville transportation.

“So his top aids come in and he says, listen I don’t want to talk about transportation and bridges, I want to know how in the hell you got 50,000 people into that stadium with cold drinks and popcorn… it went all the way around the country,” one of President Ronald Reagan’s aides said.

Although Ursay ended up taking the team to Indianapolis, Godbold said that the exposure is what led to another meeting with all the NFL team owners in Washington D.C. for a pitch to host the Super Bowl in Jacksonville.

Godbold had just finished his presentation with Patriots’ owner Sullivan and thought this just might be Jacksonville’s chance at a team.

WJXT’s Sam Kouvaris happened to be sitting with  Godbold during the meeting.

“I didn’t introduce Sam as a reporter… I thought he might throw both of us out of the room.” said Godbold.

Instead of thinking football team, Sullivan had a different idea.

“He (Sullivan) said, ‘Mayor, I can’t give you a Super Bowl or an NFL team, but I can give you something that’s equivalent to three Super Bowl games… I have the contractual rights to a Victory Tour for Michael Jackson,'” Godbold recalled.


“It’s going to be the greatest show and the biggest concert that’s ever been and we’ll put one on in 10 cities, only 10, and you’re (Jacksonville) one of them,” Sullivan said to Godbold.

“And I said, oh yeah?… Hell yeah we want it!” Godbold said.

Kouvaris remembered the day he learned Jackson was heading to north Florida.

“The funny thing is, I went to a pay phone and called Tom,” Kouvaris said. “I said, ‘Listen, we’re not getting the Super Bowl, but Michael Jackson is going to open his tour next year in Jacksonville with three stops.’ Tom was virtually speechless on the phone.”

When the news hit Jacksonville, the excitement was contagious. WJXT’s Tom Wills traveled to Kansas, Jackson’s first stop on the tour, to show News4Jax viewers what a concert like this was all about.

This was the chance Godbold had wanted. An opportunity to bring the city together.

“One of the things we needed in Jacksonville was to have more pride in our self, to build our esteem… we needed something to spark us — black and white, young and old — bring us together,” Godbold expressed.

See uncut video: Mayor Jake Godbold recalls getting Jackson to Jacksonville, his fond memories of Michael and the excitement the tour generated for the city


Read more here

Fans Of MJ Remember The Frenzy of 30 Years Ago – Jacksonville Victory Tour (Part 1)

Sources: Jacksonville.com |Edited By – All Things Michael


Hope McMath is the director of the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens. But 30 years ago, she was a star-struck teenager fortunate enough to land a ticket to the hottest concert on the planet — the Jacksons’ Victory Tour, which played at Jacksonville’s old Gator Bowl stadium for three nights, July 21-23.

She and her sister were obsessed with Michael Jackson, she said, and were worried about getting tickets in the days before you could just log onto the computer and order them. Her mother, a nurse who worked the night shift, came through for the girls.

“My mother did what thousands of others did, which was to stand in a line for hours before the tickets went on sale,” she said. “It was a school day and I remember when my mom picked us up at the end of the day, she looked at both of us with a long face and stated that she wasn’t able to get the tickets, despite her efforts of an all-night stand. The fib didn’t last long; I don’t think she could stand the disappointment on our faces.”

McMath recalls the concert as “terrific.” “My sister wore her MJ leather jacket, a purse with his picture on it and, yes, a glittery white glove. It was a unique and special night for us. It was a significant financial investment for our family, but I do believe it was worth every cent.”

She was one of about 135,000 who caught one of the Victory Tour shows in Jacksonville. Here are some other fans’ memories of those three nights:

“I was a broke college student at Florida State University and got to get tickets by driving other students to Jacksonville in my 1972 Chevy Monte Carlo and letting them stay at my house. … I’m still doing Michael Jackson dances.” –  Patricia Kidd

“I attended the Victory Tour 30 years ago. I couldn’t find my photos but of course I still have my T-shirt from this amazing tour. I traveled from Atlanta and ended up on the front row to see Michael Jackson. It was an awesome concert.” – Wanda J. Willis

Wanda Willis still has the souvenir T-shirt she bought when the Jacksons' Victory Tour came to Jacksonville for three nights in 1984.

Wanda Willis still has the souvenir T-shirt she bought when the Jacksons’ Victory Tour came to Jacksonville for three nights in 1984.

“My family had tickets for the night of July 22. We were very grateful to have been able to go; it was a thriller. I really enjoyed seeing my son, who idolized Michael Jackson so much that I made him a sequinned glove to wear to the show. We had the time of our lives just rocking to the beats with Michael and his brothers. We stood and danced the night away.” – Regina McCray

Regina McCray made a sequinned glove for her son to wear when the Jacksons' Victory Tour came to the Gator Bowl in 1984.

Regina McCray made a sequinned glove for her son to wear when the Jacksons’ Victory Tour came to the Gator Bowl in 1984.

“In 1984, I was living in Gainesville. Our local Publix was giving away two tickets for the Jackson Victory Tour in Jacksonville. Since there was no limit on entries, one day I went to the store with a bunch of my address labels and filled out as many entry forms as I could. Several days later, the phone rang at 6:30 in the morning and it was the Publix manager telling me that I had won! Although my then two-year-old daughter listened to ‘Thriller” over and over, my husband and I decided that it was not appropriate for her to attend. So, I asked my friend, Judy, and we drove up to the Gator Bowl. The concert (and the seats) were fantastic and the weather was beautiful. But, strangely, what I remembered most was being shocked at how tall Michael Jackson was compared to his brothers. He was certainly the star but gracious in presenting the concert as a true family performance.” – Randy Kammer


Read more here 

30 Years Ago Today The Jacksons Performed At B.C. Place On The Victory Tour

Sources: Straight.com – By Steve Newton | Edited By – All Things Michael

The Jacksons in Vancouver, BC Place Stadium, November 16, 1984 ~ Victory Tour

The Jacksons in Vancouver, BC Place Stadium, November 16, 1984 ~ Victory Tour

Thirty years ago today–on November 16, 1984–the Jacksons Victory Tour hit B.C. Place Stadium for the first of three shows. For some reason, I went.

Here’s my unspectacular review from the Nov. 23-30 issue of theStraight.


The biggest show in the history of pop music came to Vancouver last week, in the form of theJacksons’ Victory Tour.It was a dazzling display of lights and lasers, mechanized staging and slick choreography, available to anyone who wanted to shell out $40–and in three nights 107,000 fans did just that.

As expected, Michael Jackson stole the show from his brothers, spinning, leaping, and ‘moonwalking’ to the tune of “Beat It” and “Billy Jean”–from his multiplatinum album Thriller–and other songs from his years in the Jackson Five.


Two of the show’s most magical moments were the opening segment–in which four computer-controlled “Kreetons” (camel-like monsters) prowled the stage in a medieval “Sword in the Stone” fantasy skit–and Michael’s vanishing trick, in which he was corralled into a silver box by two huge, black automated spiders and then lifted into the air and blown up–only to reappear on a platform stage left.

A seven-story, 44-metre stage–that takes 240 workers five days to erect–housed over 2500 lights and 240 custom-built speakers. But for those who went to hear as well as see the shows, the sound system was a disappointment. With ten musicians playing and the five Jacksons singing, the result was one shrill barrage of sound.

The Jackson’s six-month North American tour should prove the most lucrative in music history, with an estimated gross income in excess of $70 million. In Vancouver alone, ticket sales grossed about $4.5 million.


Read more here

The Jacksons Release Rare Footage From 1984′s Victory Tour Via YouTube

Source: Damien Shields

Above: The Jacksons perform “This Place Hotel” (a.k.a. Heartbreak Hotel) during one of their the historic Victory Tour concerts in 1984. The footage was recently uploaded to the group’s official YouTube channel. Enjoy!



Video: Eddie Van Halen and Michael Jackson Perform “Beat It” Live in 1984

Source: Guitar World – By Damian Fanelli


Yes, we’ve all heard Michael Jackson’s 1983 mega-hit, “Beat It,” which features Eddie Van Halen on guitar. But have you seen Eddie perform the song live with Jackson and his band?

We hadn’t — until we stumbled upon this pro-shot video.

According to the information provided with the clip, this performance took place July 14, 1984, in Dallas, Texas. Eddie (and his guitar) happened to be in town that night, so he joined Jackson on stage.

We apologize for the poor sound and audio quality, but take note that Eddie’s guitar is front and center in the mix during the solo.

Jackson screams, “You got it, Eddie, Eddie, Eddie!” just as the solo kicks off. Enjoy!

In the all-new February 2014 issue of Guitar World, Eddie Van Halen looks back on Van Halen’s 1984 album and the creation of his home studio, 5150. For an excerpt of the new interview, head HERE. To check out the issue at the Guitar World Online Store, head HERE.


Michael Jackson And The Jacksons: Shaking Your Body Down From 1978 – 2009 (Video Comparison)



Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground),” was released on December 8, 1978 as single from the Jackson’s Destiny album and peaked in the Spring 1979. 


The first performance of “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)” was on the second leg of The Jackson’s Destiny Tour in 1979. Later, it was performed on the Triumph Tour in 1981, the Victory Tour in 1984 and the Bad Tour in 1987.  The song was also  performed during the Michael Jackson 30th Anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden in September 2001. This would be the last song performed live by the Jackson’s together on stage.  

Michael planned to include this number for the 2009 ‘This Is It’ tour.  The rehearsal footage from TII mostly contains the newly incorporated moves of the background dancers, so we don’t get to see much of Michael taking the lead as in previous years.  It is not clear from watching the footage, if the song was intended to be a whole melody or just an intermittent snippet between routines.

In 2011, the song was remixed and released on the deluxe edition of the Michael Jackson’s Immortal album.

( City National Bank ) Michael Jackson, center left, holds his No. 1 single "Shake Your Body" next to City National Bank founder Bram Goldsmith, center right, while members of the Jackson 5 hold their album "Destiny" during a celebration at City National Bank in 1970.

(City National Bank )
Mayor Tom Bradley declares Jackson Day in honor of group’s gold and platinum achievements. Michael Jackson, center left, holds his No. 1 single “Shake Your Body” next to City National Bank founder Bram Goldsmith, center right, while members of the Jackson 5 hold their album “Destiny” during a celebration at City National Bank in July 979. Michael’s date for evening was Tatum O’Neil.

I was watching different versions of this song and decided to put together a comparison to show how Michael’s performances of SYB changed over the years as he got older. Please see below.

Midnight Special TV Show – Shake Your Body 1979

Shake Your Body 1981 Triump Tour And 1984 Victory Tour (Montage)

BAD Tour 1987 (LIVE)

Michael Jackson 30th Anniversary Celebration

This Is It

From Michael Jackson To Mumford And Sons: A Concert Goers’ Fond Memories

Source: St. Augustine – By Renee Unsworth

Note: The blog is all about me. I’m being indulgent and talking about my love for music and all the concerts I’ve attended — most recently, Mumford & Sons.

I’m a music lover — all types, all genres.

My first big concert was Michael Jackson’s Victory Tour on July 22, 1984. I was 8 years old and my dad took me to the huge event at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville. My grandmother won the tickets for me at our local grocery store.

There were 45,000 fans at that event, and our seats were so far back that Michael and his brothers looked like tiny ants on stage. But I could see him better on the giant screen, and I remember watching him dance and flick out his one hand with the white glove.

At that point, I was hooked. I couldn’t wait for another concert.

And so it goes that at this point, I can’t even count the number of concerts and music festivals that I’ve attended.

For the past 15 years, I’m not only going as a music fan, but I’m usually covering the event as part of my job.

My concertgoing experience has come full circle nearly 30 years after seeing Michael Jackson perform. He was a music giant then, as Mumford & Sons are music giants now.

Read more: http://staugustine.com/interact/blog-post/renee-unsworth/2013-09-16/michael-jackson-mumford-sons

Unreleased Victory Tour Footage Leaks Online!

Source: Damien Shields


Around six minutes of unreleased footage of Michael Jackson and The Jacksons performing during their legendary Victory Tour has leaked online.

The footage, uploaded to YouTube by a fan, showcases The Jacksons’ performing one of three shows at the Canadian National Exhibition Stadium in Toronto in early October, 1984.

The Victory tour, which consisted of 55 concerts across the U.S and Canada between July and December 1984, is one of the most highly sought-after items in the Jackson fan community. There are several low quality copies of different shows available on YouTube, however to date there has been no official release of the Victory Tour on any format.

The recently leaked footage, seen below, seems to be of a very high quality and is professionally edited.